A trailer or preview is an advertisement/commercial designed for a feature film that will be exhibited in the future at the cinema. In my very first #MidWeekMania blog I will discuss the ins and outs of trailers – whether they’re good at what they do or completely misleading at their job.
The term trailer comes from them having originally been shown at the end of the film screening (yeah! Serious!). Whether it be green band or the recently beloved red band – all trailers serve one purpose: inform the audience of the production.
Throughout the years, movies trailer have become increasingly popular – especially due to the fact that they are more easier to market and find on many social media outlets such as Youtube – which has skyrocketed in the past 10 years. They are also often used on many DVDs and BluRays (D’uh!). Of some of the 10 billion videos viewed each year, movie trailers are ranked 3rd just behind the news and used-created videos. The trailer format has also been adopted as a promotional tool for many TV shows, video games and sport events. It’s not all about movies – but for this post we will be focusing on the use in the media.
So Why Are Movie Trailers So Hyped?
Personally I believe, trailers can be (sometimes) be more hyped up than the actual film – for example, at last years Super Bowl many fans eagerly awaited the latest trailer to adventure epic sequel Jurassic World.
That said, the trailer was a commercial success – raking in views. Along with the sheer numbers watching the sports event – there is no doubt that marketing the trailer during half time show added to the feature earning such a great box office that it is no one of the highest grossing movie of all time. So you can say that the trailer (along with the help of the major event) became an incredible hyped up fad!
Yes, some people may argue that the trailers for JW gave some major plot away – but at the end of the day the trailers did market themselves the right way to get your butts in them cinema seats on the opening weekend, didn’t it? (Dont lie.. it did!)
This now brings me to my next point, although the trailer may give (some) major plot points away, would they go as far as misleading the audience?
Are Movie Trailers Becoming Misleading?
In some instances, yes. Trailers have become misleading representations of their movies. For example, they may give the impression that one of the main cast members will have a leading role but when you go to see it, it actually takes the short cut in the opposite direction thus sending mixed feelings and maybe losing the viewer completly.
One instance that springs to my mind is which 2014s Godzilla marketed ‘Breaking Bad’ star Bryan Cranston to take on the lead in the monster outing – for me this was perfect casting. The trailer gave him a great set up along with epic tension. Take a look:
Sadly, what we got (personally) – SPOILERS AHEAD – was a 20 minute Cranston performance until he is abruptly killed off. I, personally, was caught off guard and mislead by the trailer which inevitably rode off the back of Cranston in order to get people in the cinema. Yeah, it was a decent enough ride but the misleading trailer gave fans and I a different less exciting opinion as the credits rolled.
These tricks are clearly done to draw in a wider audience – which I find unfair at times.
Other movie trailers may include footage not from the film itself. This may be an artistic choice – Pixar is a good example.
The studio which would release a short trailer (a year or so) before the theatrical release. A good example of this is – Monsters Inc. –
The original trailer introduced us to the two main characters Sully and Mike as they entered a childs room in order to collect their screams, the main plot of the movie. Although this footage was not used in the final piece it didn’t leave any lasting bad impression on the final production. This, in my opinion, is one of the best trailers to date which to this day still stands out to me!
It was basically an awesome little short film in itself. A+ in my books!
Other times, it doesn’t go to plan. Take for instance this years superhero reboot Fantastic 4. With a mighty 4 minute trailer released only 2 weeks ago; which gave away the first act in the film, it has become one of the most misleading movie trailers to date.
It promised an entire new tone to the franchise with spectacular action sequences and a brilliant cast promised – what we got was a fantastic mess! Take a look:
All the major action sequences bar one has been cut out, some dialogue had been changed – it was messy and it lacked any development. The one big ‘Thing’ from the trailer, that I looked forward to was Jamie Bells Thing free-falling into battle from a carrier jet. It was nowhere to be seen in the final product.
I feel trailers (such as these) were made to be misleading in a ‘for the good of the audience’ kind of way – in that the general movie goers would not see a film such like this (even if it is Marvel) due to rumours and preconceptions. I understand that there was production issues throughout but I still feel very betrayed by the marketing campaign.. if you could call it one.
Another worthy example could be Ryan Goslings film Drive – although marketed as Bank Heist Action Thriller – what audiences got was a slower paced character piece with a hint of violence.
One woman went as far as to sue the production company as she felt the film didn’t live up to the promotions promise…. a little too far?
For the following, I got to ask my collaborating writers over at Nerd Lowdown for some of their favourite trailers of the year gone by!
Nerd Lowdowns Favourite Movie Trailers!
Adam: Avengers Age of Ultron –
“My favourite movie trailer? That would probably have to be the trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron, from the moment I saw the first trailer, I thought to myself, Man this is gonna be unreal!!! From the creepy rendition of “I had strings” from Pinocchio, to seeing Ultron Mark 1 stagger into the Avengers’ party, I was amped for this film from the go. Seeing glimpses of the Hulkbuster fight and James Spader’s Ultron speaking over the trailer all added to the excitement I had for this film. Even though the film has been out for a number of months, I can still watch the trailer for Age of Ultron and still get excited watching it.”
Robbie: Deadpool (Red band) –
“My favourite trailer, at least so far, has got to be the red band Deadpool trailer. It was pure fan service. It displayed everything we could have hoped for from a live action Deadpool movie and gave absolutely nothing away other than it’s going to be violent and Deadpool is going to be a douchebag of the hilariously massive proportions. It was fantastic and left you begging for so much more.”
Phil: Star Wars The Force Awakens –
“There is not a lot of trailers out there that can really leave you on edge but Star Wars always does. From the moment the trailer for Star Wars Episode 7 released it left me on edge. I wanted more I replayed the trailer countless times, I even freeze framed parts to try spot something. That first trailer got me so excited it is all I could talk about for weeks. With so many trailers for movies showing the best bits from the movie, it is no doubt that what we all seen in the Star Wars trailer is just a fraction of what we will get. Being a massive star wars fan boy, Any sort of trailer dating back to the prequels left me so excited words can’t describe, With star wars coming this December I find myself watching the trailers over and over and it still can’t get enough.
To close off the very first #MidWeekMania blog – I will say this, always be just that little vary of trailers nowadays because after all they seem to be trying to reel us in with our money, now there are exception when it comes to the likes of Superhero Franchise etc as there is media to go with it, but smaller movies may portray a different image in their trailers both good and bad! Plus remember, have fun! They’re movies!